UNESCO Project to Help to Show Poloniny National Park to World

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A baroque wooden church in the village of Topola at Poloniny National Park. (Photo by TASR)

Nova Sedlica, May 7 (TSAR) – A UNESCO-sponsored micro-project is due to be launched in the autumn in the Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians in order to unfold the largely hidden potential for tourism at the Poloniny National Park in north-eastern Slovakia, TASR learnt on Sunday.

James Rebanks, a member of UNESCO’s expert panel for Sustainable Tourism, told TASR that tourism, including such services as gastronomy, accommodation and safari, could be able to produce more sustainable income for the locals than mere forestry. Nonetheless, “it can’t be expected that [these communities] and the local life will adapt to the market economy”, stated Rebanks, adding that financial assistance will be necessary.

Rebanks claims that Poloniny needs global promotion in New York, London, Paris and Moscow, for example, as people from big cities might be interested in spending their holidays in this peaceful environment coloured by tales from the forests and war stories.

Meanwhile, Peter DeBrine, who serves as Senior Project Officer in UNESCO’s World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism Programme, told TASR that the key idea of UNESCO’s involvement in Poloniny at the moment is to connect people who have visions for developing the region.

“I believe that what you have in Slovakia is quite comfortably on the level of Yellowstone National Park, Machu Picchu and the Taj Mahal,” stressed DeBrine.